De Beers Group today announced the value of rough diamond sales for the sixth and seventh sales cycles of 2020.
The provisional sales of cycle seven totalled $320m (£249.7m), up from $287m (£224m) reported in the seventh cycle of 2019.
In addition, rough diamond sales in cycle six totalled $116m (£90.5m).
De Beers noted that due to the restrictions on the movement of people and products in various jurisdictions around the globe, it has continued to implement a “more flexible” approach to rough diamond sales during the sixth and seventh sales cycles of 2020.
It comes as the normal week-long sight events extended towards near-continuous sales, according to the group.
As a result, the provisional rough diamond sales figure quoted for cycle seven represents the expected sales value for the period 19 August to 10 September, and remains subject to adjustment based on final completed sales.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “Diamond markets showed some continued improvement throughout August and into September as Covid-19 restrictions continued to ease in various locations, and manufacturers focused on meeting retail demand for polished diamonds, particularly in certain product areas.
“Overall industry sentiment has become more positive as jewellers in the key US and Chinese consumer markets gained confidence ahead of the important year-end holiday season, supported by strong bridal diamond jewellery demand across markets.”
He added: “Accordingly, we saw a recovery in rough diamond demand in the seventh sales cycle of the year, reflecting these retail trends, following several months of minimal manufacturing activity and disrupted demand patterns in all major markets.
“It’s clear that the recovery is at an early stage and we expect that it will take some time to get back to pre-Covid-19 levels of demand.”